Threats and pressure

While some African-American superdelegates have switched to Obama, others who support Hillary say they are receiving pressure they don’t appreciate and are holding firm.

African-American superdelegates said recently that they’ll stand up against threats, intimidation and “Uncle Tom” smears rather than switch their support from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to Sen. Barack Obama.

“African-American superdelegates are being targeted, harassed and threatened,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), a superdelegate who has supported Clinton since August. Cleaver said black superdelegates are receiving “nasty letters, phone calls, threats … [and] being called an Uncle Tom.”

— Charles Halverson

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9 thoughts on “Threats and pressure

  1. entopticon

    Passions are running high this election. Nasty letters and phone calls are to be expected. Threats are never OK.

    That said, it is pretty hard to imagine how an African American superdelegate could support Hillary in good conscience. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been a model of Rove-like racial divisiveness that hasn’t been seen from a Democratic candidate since the Dixiecrats.

    Most of the worst offenses in the Clinton campaign have come from surrogates, but there is no doubt that the overwhelmingly consistent pattern of race-baiting stems from the prevailing attitude at the top of the organization.

    To name a few:
    The Clinton campaign disseminated emails claiming that Obama is an Islamic mole. The Clinton campaign was caught push-polling, and their phone bank callers frequently refer to Obama as Osama. Bill Clinton tried to paint Obama as a black-only candidate. The Clinton campaign had an ongoing strategy of referring to Obama as an “articulate young man.” The Clinton campaign released a photo of Obama in African dress to the Drudge report to exploit people’s xenophobia. The Clinton campaign used surrogates to paint Barack Obama as an unqualified recipient of affirmative action. etc, etc

    There is broad agreement that the speech that Barack Obama gave yesterday was the most important speech on race since MLK’s “Letters From a Birmingham Jail.” Voices that never thought they could be heard before felt heard for the first time in American history.

    Obama raised the bar to a level far beyond anything that Hillary Clinton has ever said or done. Yesterday he raised the bar on our nation’s racial discourse to a level far beyond anything that a major Presidential candidate has ever accomplished.

    All of that considered, it is hard to imagine why an African American, or anyone else, wouldn’t stand behind Barack Obama, the first chance we’ve had for significantly forwarding the cause of racial unity in several generations.

  2. Dionysis

    There have been a number of claims of ‘intimidation’ of Hillary superdelegates by Obama supporters, as nebulously described by Mr. Halverson. As far as I can find, there is no specifics to substantiate these claims. Nonetheless, there is probably merit to at some of the criticisms. It all seems rather a waste of time, since the number of black Americans supporting Clinton (and their influence) is about on par with the number of black Republicans and their influence. In other words, inconsequential.

  3. Johnny

    Precisely how and when Clinton decides to bow out of the race is the most interesting question.

    Right now it doesn’t look like it will be pretty, but I expect she’ll do her best to be magnanimous once the time comes.

  4. Eli Cohen

    Yes, when the time comes, I think they will come together, and join forces to fight the beast. Frankly, I’m so sick of those smarmy, GOP profit at any cost greedsters and their anti science bias, and sanctimonious H.S. that I’d vote for anyone I thought had a chance of winning. After 14 years of GOP rule, during which they totally screwed the economy, pursued an immoral war (Iraq not Afghanistan) this country needs a change.

  5. Eli,

    If you think Hillary and Bill are not ‘the beast’, then you are a very misguided ‘liberal’ indeed.

    The very fact that she has not conceded the race to Obama, not to mention using all kinds of “Vast right wing conspiracy’ tactics against his campaign is proof of that for me.

    Clinton has no desire to ‘team up’ with Obama. She is a Megalomaniac with serious issues. She will be as bad as McCain and the Bush legacy her husband helped perpetuate.

  6. Overturn the Kelo and Euclid decisions!! No Zoning nationwide!! vote against the Democrats so we can site our trailers in Beverly Hills!! Ron Paul!! then settle for McCain, who will defend abortion rights on the Golan Heights.

  7. Eli Cohen

    Sammule, I am a “unguided” liberal with an intense desire to see the gop suffer a serious defeat in ’08. You may be right about Hillary, but frankly…
    As for your other comments, the future is unwritten. (except on fox news)

  8. craig

    I also think it will be interesting to see how Senator Clinton eventually pulls out of the race. We’re starting to move beyond the point where there won’t be some serious damage done to Democratic campaign in general, although a nasty covention (or a pre-convention superdelegate meeting) would make for some compelling drama.

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